We’re all about making your life simpler — and it starts with being able to get to the files you need, when and where you need them. Over the past few months, we’ve been working on one technically challenging but very important aspect of that mission: making the web browser and desktop work better together. Specifically, we wanted to give you a simple, fast, and delightful way to get a file from the browser to the desktop, especially when that file starts as a Dropbox web preview or shared link.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing an “Open” button when you preview a file on the web that already lives in the Dropbox folder on your computer. That button will open the file immediately in its native application. For example, if someone sends you a link to a Microsoft Word document that lives in one of your shared folders, you can view it in your browser first, and then click “Open” to instantly edit it in the Microsoft Word program on your desktop.
There are a few ways this will make your life easier:
- Stay on the same page. If a file is already on your computer, you won’t have to download another copy or create multiple versions; any edits you make will automatically sync back to the original file.
- Send shortcuts. Use a shared link to point your friends or colleagues right to a specific file within a shared folder.
- Save clicks. Move from previewing a file on the web to editing it on your desktop in seconds.
This new way to open files requires the latest version of the Dropbox desktop app — the update will automatically roll out to users over the next few weeks.